Zář 30

Bacteria Bio May Help Account for Bitcoin Movements

Some traders are afraid of Bitcoin price predictions and technical analyses — and for a good reason. Over time, Bitcoin has proven to be volatile if given the right conditions. One man claims he can predict this coin’s flux, and uses bacteria to illustrate the process.


Bitcoin Predictions, In General

While you can’t really think this in terms of black or white, it seems obvious that only a certain category of crypto enthusiasts venture to accurately forecast the price of Bitcoin (BTC) 00 and other cryptocurrencies. Besides, there’s no “better” or “worse” way of doing it: experience and vast market knowledge are valuable, as are cold stats. What matters more is the person who does it and the logic underpinning their decision.

Despite all that hassle, not everyone relies on predictions anyway — in fact, predictions often bring the author criticism. That’s why talking numbers is a safer bet: no one can blame it on the numbers. Yet, here’s an original one: a social scientist describing Bitcoin’s price as a logarithmic parable based on patterns seen in bio-science.

goorha

Bitcoin’s Price Based on a Biological Pattern

After all, it’s not impossible. Traders are biological beings, too. Their decisions and the thinking process behind them are a biochemical reaction in the brain. Could maths just explain everything, in the end? Well, they say it’s the key — and it could be here as well.

As reported by Money Morning, Prateek Goorha’s formula to predict Bitcoin’s price is not that far-fetched. His inspiration, however, is quite unconventional. Goorha thinks that the Bitcoin chart resembles the reproductive pattern observed in bacteria: Lag — log — station — death.

The first phase sees the bacteria adapt to the conditions of a given environment. The second is characterized by exponential growth: the bacteria divides and clones itself until it reaches a boundary where the environment can’t sustain any more individuals. Following this stage, the already existing bacteria feed on the existing resources until depletion.

Of course, when there’s nothing left to feed on the bacteria dies — but Goorha didn’t mention this phase, presumably finding it irrelevant to cryptocurrency. The same cycle is repeated by most living organisms and some scientists even predict that human lives propagate following the same pattern.

What Does This Have To Do With Bitcoin’s Price?

Well, scientists like maths, and so do traders. They should do, at least. They translated the pattern above into a mathematical formula. Goorha suggests that the price of Bitcoin followed exactly the same pattern as bacteria multiplication so far and is sure that its value will continue doing so in the future.

According to Goorha’s prediction, Bitcoin will see $20,000 again without a doubt. In fact, he predicts that a long-awaited bull-run is just around the corner. The highs of this new rush will reach as far as $50,000, and future races could bring Bitcoin as high as $250,000. Distinct from typical technical analyses, Goorha used a different set of parameters. If you look on the left side of his chart, you’ll see what he meant by “exponential” growth.

To what extent do you think this parable can account for the price movements of Bitcoin? Let us know in a comment below!


Image courtesy of Money Morning, Shutterstock, Twitter/@goorha.

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Zář 29

‘Nothing At All’ Going on With Crypto Regulation, Says D.C. Insider

Despite the growing importance of the cryptocurrency industry, the US government’s position on crypto regulation remains frustratingly opaque. According to a D.C. insider, a movement towards real regulation or greater regulatory guidance is still quite far away.


Regulatory Uncertain

Questions about how the government intends to regulate the crypto industry abound. For example, it is still unclear to many investors whether crypto regulation will ultimately come from the SEC or the CFTC.

While there remains no widespread movement in Washington towards reforming the crypto regulatory environment, there are encouraging signs that pockets of Congress are beginning to take interest in the cause.

Beginnings of Congressional Action?

On September 24th, Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) hosted industry leaders from Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and the crypto industry for a roundtable discussion on the crypto regulatory environment. Davidson’s roundtable, titled “Legislating Certainty for Cryptocurrencies,” was held at the Library of Congress. Roughly eighty thought leaders from the private sector attended the roundtable, with multiple members of Congress and their aids in attendance as well.

Davidson stressed the importance of industry being involved in crafting the government rules that will eventually govern the crypto space.

Congress

Congressional Letter to the SEC

Following the roundtable, Davidson and fourteen other Representatives issued a public letter to SEC chairman Jay Clayton requesting that the SEC issue clarification on whether Initial Coin Offerings are considered security sales. The Representatives used the letter to express concern that all tokens were being treated as securities, regardless of whether the designation was applicable or relevant. The letter stated:

Therefore, we believe is important that all policy makers work toward developing clearer guidelines between those digital tokens that are securities, and those that are not, through better articulation of SEC policy, and, ultimately through formal guidance or legislation.

The letter went on to express concern that existing guidance on SEC policy is being conveyed solely through enforcement action, leading market participants forced to try to divine SEC policy through the scope of its enforcement actions. The letter continued:

Additionally, we are concerned about the use of enforcement actions alone to clarify policy and believe that formal guidance may be an appropriate approach to clearing up legal uncertainties which are causing the environment for the development of innovative technologies in the United States to be unnecessarily fraught.

Legislstion

New Legislation Begins to Emerge

While no major legislation has been introduced to cover the crypto industry, U.S. Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN) has introduced a slate of three bills designed to encourage support for the crypto industry. Emmer’s bills propose only minor changes to how cryptocurrency is regulated in the U.S.

Concerns about the regulatory status of various crypto projects have encouraged many entrepreneurs and firms to decamp to more stable regulatory climes. For example, Switzerland’s “light-touch” regulatory policy has fueled the dramatic growth of the industry in the country.

While it is encouraging to see the government finally begin to take interest in the crypto industry, the Congressional letter stressed that SEC guidance would take time to fully emerge and develop. Start-ups and entrepreneurs hoping for greater regulatory clarity will likely still have a long time to wait.

Will U.S. regulators eventually wake up? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter/@.

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Zář 28

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Is Bitcoin Bottoming out?

Following a steady day of price action around $6,500, Bitcoin price exploded to $6,750.  With such a fast move to the upside, we take a look at what’s happening price action going into the weekend. 


1-hour Chart 

After last week’s volatile move to the upside from $6,100, Bitcoin 00 made a higher low at $6,330 early in the week and the Bulls had been attacking $6500 ever since.  The Bears eventually gave up yesterday and a fast move to around $6,800 followed after pressure could be seen in the price action.

After a blisteringly fast move to resistance at $6,800, coupled with emerging bearish divergence [where price makes higher highs yet key indicators made lower highs], Bitcoin needed to take pit stop at current prices before advancing further.  Bulls will be looking to defend $6,600 over the weekend and keep momentum as we move towards the weekly and monthly candle closes.

Daily Chart

As the Bulls look to break $6,800 and keep their heads above critical support at $6,000, the bigger question remains as to whether there are signs that the bottom is in in this bear market.

Price action continues its long consolidation in the large quasi-falling wedge.  The bulls not only need to maintain the lows found last week at $6,100 but must find higher highs above $7,500, which would represent the first higher high in price action on a meaningful timeframe since December 2017

With price volatility reaching lows for the year, The CMF and RSI are showing positive momentum and the Mac-D remaining bullish, there are signs that we may be coming to the end of this consolidation in Q4 of 2018.

Is Bitcoin Bottoming Out?

On Wednesday, well-respected trader Peter Brandt tweeted that he had identified evidence of a rare pattern in price action known as a Compound Fulcrum which can best be described as an H&S top pattern that serves as a bottom.

A break above $7,500 would confirm this technical pattern and would provide confluence with the other indicators suggesting that Bitcoin is close to bottoming out.

What Happens Next?

Failure to break above $6,800 and attack $7,500 will mean that the bears are very much still in control in this bear market. Despite the positive underlying signs, many commentators remain bearish and see present price action as being another dead cat bounce before a large move to the downside.

With Q4 being traditionally an explosive quarter or Bitcoin 00 and with price action implying selling pressure is running out of steam, it seems that 2018 will not be an exception to the rule and is shaping up to be a volatile few months.

 [Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are not intended as investment advice. Market data is provided by  BITFINEX. The charts for analysis are provided by TradingView.]

Whether it will be a bullish or bearish Q4 end of 2018? Share your predictions below?


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Tradingview.com, Twitter

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Zář 27

House of Cards? Trade Volume of Big Exchanges Questioned

Amid market turbulence and general cryptocurrency uncertainty, some speculate fast-growing exchanges may be manipulating — or outright lying about — their trade volumes.


Questions about inflated exchange volume have long plagued the cryptocurrency world.

Outcry is now intensifying as once-unknown exchanges are enjoying seemingly smashing success in the midst of market slowdowns and uncertainty.

Reporters from Bloomberg recently wrote about the curious case of the BitForex exchange. Once relegated to obscurity, the platform has now been busy reporting about days where transactions exceed $5 billion dollars.

BitForex Vice President Garret Jin said the trading surge was just due to its transaction mining system, a practice some say is just a set up to inflationary wash trading activity.

Overall trading volume across the industry is expected to grow by 50% in 2019, but some are starting to wave a red flag while scrutinizing the alleged astronomical growth of once-small exchanges.

Scattered discourse on this topic has swelled in the past few months as more people in the industry believe exchanges are dramatically overstating their trading volume. This is done by offering incentives to inflate, or by simply turning a blind eye to blatant abuse on exchange platforms.

Allegations Everywhere

Allegations about fake trading volume are certainly not new. Just a few days ago, the popular exchange Coinbase fired back at New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood regarding its trade volume.

Bitcoinist reported that Attorney General Underwood alleged Coinbase “[…] disclosed that almost twenty percent of executed volume on its platform was attributable to its own trading.” Coinbase Chief Policy Officer Mike Lempres wrote:

Coinbase does not trade for the benefit of the company on a proprietary basis

In a March Medium post, trader and investor Sylvian Ribes noted his belief that the volume of fabricated cryptoassets was more than $3 billion dollars.

Ribes specifically called out OKEx, claiming 94% of its volume was nonexistent after allegedly reviewing publicly available data.

Others like EverMarkets Exchange CEO Jim Bai, see the problem of fraudulent volumes as just an ecosystem immaturity issue, asserting how legitimate exchanges will eventually pop up that

Provide enough real, beneficial structural incentives so that people won’t be misled into trading on questionable venues.

A Secret Brought To Light?

In August, the Blockchain Transparency Institute released a sweeping report alleging that 70% of the top 100 exchanges on sites like CoinMarketCap are “likely engaging in wash trading by at least 3x their stated volume.”

There are people who see these types of shady trading practices an instance of “everyone’s doing it, so I’m doing it,” according to Neil Woodfine of Clavestone.

According to Woodfine and Eterna Capital’s Asim Ahmad, inflated volumes from exchanges are likely due to automatic high-frequency trading strategies — a practice that has been regarded as concerning by the New York Attorney General.

How big of an issue do you think exaggerated or fraudulent exchange trade volumes are? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock.

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Zář 26

Lamassu Unveils New Line of Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency ATMs

On September 24th, Lamassu announced the introduction of their new line of cryptocurrency ATMs to the public. Lamassu calls its new line of ATMs, “Sintra.” The ATMs herald a new line of ATMs as another crucial step in crypto’s march towards widespread consumer use and accessibility. 


Growing Industry

According to CoinATMrader.com, there are currently roughly 3,750 crypto ATMs installed worldwide. Lamassu has been producing cryptocurrency ATMs since 2013 when they produced their first, which was called the Bitcoin Machine.

While that number sounds impressive, and the number of the crypto ATMs installed continues to grow steadily, it is important to put that number in context. Information from Data.gov, for example, indicates that there are over 5,500 bank-owned ATMs in New York State alone. Crucially, this ATM count does not include independently managed ATMs at convenience stores and other retail locations.

Cost

Pricing for the new crypto ATM’s ranges from 5,200 EU for the cheapest Duoro II model, to 8,900 EU for the highest price Sintra Forte model. The mid-priced Sintra model costs 7,500 EU. The Duoro II model is the newest model of Lamassu’s original Crypto ATM, and features one-way fiat to crypto conversion, while both the Sintra and Sintra Forte feature two-way conversion.

The new models offer a bevy of features, designed to make buying and selling crypto through the machines as painless as possible. The machines feature a sleek, futuristic look, and are all crafted in Portugal. The body of the machines is crafted out of 2.5mm steel for extra durability.

Owners of these machines can configure their ATM’s to take almost any major currency, and support conversions from fiat to Bitcoin, Zcash, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Dash.

While Lamassu does not directly facilitate transactions on the ATM, it does offer a backend exchange trading engine that can steer conversions to liquidity providers. Lamassu’s engine is currently connected to BitPay, Bitstamp, Kraken, and Coinbase.

Fees and Regulatory Issues

ATM operators have control over the fee structure charged by their machines and can profit by either charging direct fees or adjusting the spread charged by their liquidity provider.

On Lamassu’s website, the estimates indicate that a machine needs roughly $800-$1,000 worth of daily transactions to break-even. Lamassu estimates that the average monthly turnover on their machines is roughly $20,000 and rising.

The Sintra line of ATMs features numerous compliance features, but investors interested in purchasing and managing a machine need to do their due diligence regarding the legality of operating an ATM in their jurisdiction.

Prospective ATM operators in the United States must ensure they are following both federal and state laws. Bitcoin ATMs would currently fall under the criteria of “Exchangers,” according to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. In turn, they must register as “Money Service Businesses.” If you are interested in purchasing a machine in the United States, this primer is a handy starting point.

As interest in Crypto continues to grow among the retail investing community, ATMs will likely be a key “on-ramp” for investors into the crypto industry.

What do you think of Lamassu’s New ATMs? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock, Lamassu.is

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Zář 25

70% of All ICOs Are Now Underwater in 2018

How much cash an ICO raised has become “less important” to markets, new research says this week after revealing 70 percent of ICOs have lost the money they raised.


Markets ‘Shrug Off Cash-On-Hand’

As part of the latest edition of its weekly newsletter, Diar investigated the current state of the ICO sector, which despite this year’s cryptocurrency bear market has raised more than in the ‘boom’ year of 2017.

“Diar number crunching shows that 70% of tokens are now valued at less than what was raised during their ICO,” it highlights.

And with tokens having no equity representation, markets have shrugged off cash-on-hand as part of an enterprise valuation.

While many investors insist the current climate is a lull which will reverse, the ‘cash-on-hand’ figures make for a distressing reading.

A $6 Billion Washout?

Compiling a table of the ‘top 10 losers’ – ICO issuers which saw the greatest value bleed after raising funds – Diar reveals an alarming trend.

As Bitcoinist also previously reported, projects such as Bancor and Sirin Labs – well known at the time of their token sales – have since faded from view, their market cap crashing to the tune of tens of millions of dollars in the process.

Sirin Labs 00, which plans to release its Blockchain phone this November, topped the list, losing $141 million in market cap from the $158 million it originally raised.

Bancor 00 lost $80 million while making up the top three are PumaPay ($102 million) and Envion ($96 million).

“As it turns out 402 out of 562 projects that raised over $8.2 (billion) are now worth $2.2 (billion) – an eye-watering $6 (billion) loss in market capitalization value against actual cash paid out to development teams,” Diar founder and editor Fadi Aboualfa continued on Twitter about the findings.

Bitcoinist recently produced a rundown of the ‘winners and losers’ in the ICO world, based on a rankings project by cryptocurrency researcher Stephen Zheng released earlier this month.

What do you think about the current state of the ICO market? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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Zář 24

John Newbery: I’m Responsible For ‘Worst Bitcoin Bug Since 2010’

Bitcoin Core developers have decried infighting between Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) supporters after John Newbery claimed responsibility for last week’s CVE-2018-17144 network bug.


‘Embarrassed And Sorry’

In comments on Twitter September 23, Newbery, who is tasked with checking the Bitcoin codebase, said it was because of him that the bug had gone unnoticed.

As Bitcoinist reported, the incident occurred last week, with Core developers urging the entire network to upgrade to a patched version of the Core client as a matter of urgency.

A full summary of what happened, including the technical specifications of the bug and its eradication, has since been published.

“There’s no chance I haven’t read CheckTransaction(). When I read it, the “…so we skip it in CheckBlock” comment should have jumped out at me,” Newbery wrote discussing the technical details he claims he failed to notice.

“That comment and the fCheckDuplicateInputs flag don’t just smell, they stink. I should have followed my nose. At the very least I should have looked up Bitcoin Core PR #9049. I didn’t.”

While Newbery added he felt “embarrassed and sorry” as a result of the problems, community reactions appeared to reveal little interest in blaming any one party for it.

At the same time, other sources have warned over the serious nature of the oversight, with Bitcoin.org creator Cobra describing it as “very scary” and Bitcointalk’s Theymos considering it the “worst bug since 2010.”

Van Der Laan Blasts Community Squabbling

Fellow Core developer Wladimir van der Laan had previously said a collaborative failure had led to the situation emerging.

“It was wrong that the buggy code was merged. Yes, we screwed up but the ‘we’ that screwed up is very wide,” he commented in further tweets Sunday.

The whole community screwed up by not reviewing consensus changes thoroughly enough, more developers need to pay attention! It’s your all responsibility.

Van der Laan was writing as part of a debate on the bug’s discovery becoming fertile ground for supporters of both Bitcoin and hard fork Bitcoin Cash to criticize each other’s perceived shortcomings.

“‘Unprofessional’ doesn’t even begin to describe it,” he added.

What do you think about the fallout from Bitcoin’s code bug? Let us know in the comments below!


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Zář 23

Handling of Recent Bitcoin Bug Ruffles Feathers

Bitcoin Core developers urged all nodes to implement a patch on Friday, September 21, in order to prevent the exploitation of a recently discovered bug in the Bitcoin protocol. The bug, called CVE-2018-17144, was originally reported to the Bitcoin Core team by Bitcoin Cash developer Awemany on September 17.


A Bug in the System

The discovery of the bug and the Core developers attempts to address it have caused ruffled feathers in the crypto community. Allegations of incompetence and bad-faith have been leveled by members of both the Bitcoin (BTC) 00 and Bitcoin Cash community as developers attempt to patch the bug.

CVE-2018-17144 was initially reported as a potential denial of service bug, but developers on the Core team discovered the root issue impacted both denials of service and inflation vulnerability. The Bitcoin Core team has released a timeline in its announcement about the bug, showing the steps undertaken as the team went from being made aware of the bug’s existence to releasing a patch.

The CVE-2018-17144 bug originated in Bitcoin Core .15, originating as part of a change which was designed to help simplify the tracking of unspent transaction output. This change left Bitcoin versions .15X through .16.2 vulnerable to the bug — as well as any altcoins or forked versions of Bitcoin that were still using code containing the bug.

Crucially, the implantation of the code which caused the bug was led by the same developer who was integral in implementing the fix. This has added to suspicions that the release of the patch was not handled correctly.

Bitcoin bug

Lying in Wait

Worryingly for many, the bug had been sitting undiscovered in the code for two years, raising concerns about what other issues may be lurking in Bitcoin just waiting to be exploited. In a post from Medium contributor Awemany, it’s noted that it would have been just as easy for him to short BTC — and exploit the bug — as it was for him to report the bug the Core team.

The Bitcoin Core team has been heavily criticized for the manner in which they rolled out the announcement about both the bug and the patch. For Bitcoin and many of the altcoins which rely on the same code, the decision to announce the bug and patch without consulting members of the altcoin networks that would have been impacted by a successful exploit was seen by some as political and mean-spirited.   

Despite the promise of decentralization and transparency promised by crypto advocates, the CVE-2018-17144 episode illustrates just how dependent many projects are on the decisions made by a relatively small number of members of the community. If the actors in this saga had made a handful of decisions differently, billions of dollars of value could have been wiped out. Hopefully, this episode leads to clearer standards around bug discovery and patching, and a more harmonious culture between various developer teams.

What are your thoughts on Bitcoin bugs? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Zář 22

Tilray & Marijuana Stocks Smoke Cryptocurrency, Then Go Poof

The financial markets were ablaze this week with high volatility in cannabis shares unseating cryptocurrency as the trade of choice. References to cannabis in news articles were almost double that of cryptocurrency. But big falls on Friday, coupled with almost unilateral gains across crypto, showed how schizophrenic the weed market can be.


Tilray. When Lambo?

Tilray was the name on everyone’s lips this week. On Tuesday the Canadian company announced DEA approval to export a cannabinoid study drug into the US for clinical tests. TLRY stock jumped from around $120 to almost $300, as it saw $15 billion in volume from Monday to Thursday.

The price spurt intensified because the market cap for the company was just $16.4 billion at end of trading. On top of this, a single private equity fund controls over 70% of the shares, further reducing the available stock. The entire market cap of cannabis shares is around $35 billion, so investors were chasing each other around a very small market.

Live Fast, Die Young… in a Nice Pair of Shorts

Celebrated Bitcoin bull, Mike Novogratz, wanted a piece of that action, so managed to “get a borrow, short it for a day trade, make some money”. He believes that longer term, the marijuana industry has a promising future, but for now, it is all about short-selling.

He explained:

Listen, the weed business has a great underlying story, a lot like cryptocurrency. In five or six years, we will have a monster weed business.

Sure enough, price drops across Thursday and Friday saw Tilray close the week at around the same point it started it.

More Than a Ripple in the Crypto waters

The second half of the week saw a rally across virtually the entire crypto market, with Ripple a stand-out performer. At one point it unseated Ethereum 00 as the second largest currency by market cap, although that position has since reversed.

There are some who question Ripple’s surge 00, including Yahoo Sports, who compare its position to that of Tilray, midweek. Sadly, the hosted video doesn’t seem to match the headline, so we are left in the dark as to why Yahoo make that comparison.

Guess we will just have to wait and see.

Are cannabis stocks behaving similarly to the cryptocurrency market right now? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Tradingview.com

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Zář 21

Brazil Investment CEO On Bitcoin Exchange Launch: ‘I’d Rather Crypto Didn’t Exist’

XP Group, owner of the largest investment firm in Brazil, XP Investimentos, confirmed it would launch a cryptocurrency exchange this week – despite its CEO saying he wished it “didn’t exist.”


Benchimol: ‘We Felt Obligated’

As Bloomberg reports quoting Guilherme Benchimol at an event in Sao Paulo, XP will finally give in to investor demand and begin a Bitcoin and Ethereum trading operation after six months of rumors.

“I must confess, this is a theme I’d rather didn’t exist, but it does,” the publication reports him as saying.

We felt obligated to start advancing in this market.

Like many South American markets, Brazil has seen a palpable uptick in Bitcoin 00 trading activity. While its figures do not match those of markets such as Chile, Argentina and Venezuela, weekly volumes for P2P platform Localbitcoins alone regularly top 1.5 million reals ($367,000).

XP Investimentos had been planning its entry into the market since at least April, insiders telling the press at the time a crypto trading platform was incoming. The company registered an entity called XP COIN INTERMEDIACAO in August last year.

The final product will go by the name of XDEX – perhaps a nod to the decentralized exchange phenomenon – and involve a team of around 40, Bloomberg adds.

Bitcoiners Bite Back Against Banks

Brazil’s extant exchange and wider cryptocurrency business sector is meanwhile struggling with an increasingly hostile landscape involving banks.

Similar to complaints in Poland in recent months, a government agency is now investigating claims that those businesses are subject to account shutdowns by institutions which would rather not deal in crypto-related transactions.

“…It does not seem reasonable for banks to apply restrictive measures a priori on a straight-line basis to all cryptocurrency companies, without examining the level of compliance and anti-fraud measures adopted by individual brokerage firm,” the agency told Reuters when the news surfaced this week.

What do you think about XP Group’s exchange announcement? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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